Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center officially closed at the end of June. RISE for Youth welcomes this long overdue closure and applauds the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for moving toward replacing old, outdated, and obsolete youth prisons with community-based accountability methods. This is a major step forward for youth, families, and communities in Virginia.
Virginia had been locking up youth at Beaumont since 1890, despite data demonstrating better methods for punishment and transformation of youth who commit crimes. This facility—like all large youth prisons—was never appropriate for children and did not lead to positive public safety outcomes.
While great progress has been made with this closure, the coming months hold important decisions on the reuse, demolishment, or transfer of the facility and land, and we encourage action by the Commonwealth to prevent future use of Beaumont for the confinement of youth. RISE for Youth will continue working to ensure that youth receive the treatment and supervision they need to close to their homes and support networks instead of outdated systems that fail to keep the public safe.
Our coalition commemorated the Beaumont closure with seed planting and a community cookout at a nearby park.